Of Better Blood by Susan Moger
Do you believe that some people are not fit to live in this world? And if they are unfit, should they be stopped from having unfit children? Are people with disabilities less desirable and therefore expendable? Is forced sterilization ok if they are going to pass on tainted genes? And who should be allowed to make these decisions anyways?
After World War II a whole class of people thought they were most qualified to decide which genes should get passed onto future generations of US citizens. And, with medical research, experimentation and practice, they sought to eliminate other members of the population who they considered less worthy of living. This book is a fictionalized story about those who practiced Eugenics and some of the deadly consequences of their work.
Rowan is the daughter of a prominent thinker who believes that tainted blood should be eliminated. When Rowan contracts polio he abandons her to substandard care and abuse. As a side-show freak Rowan begins to question the way she has been raised to think, although it takes friends outside of her own class to really push her to see the abuse for what it is. This book would make for great fiction, the scary part is that it is based on fact and that some of the extreme practices continued into recent history.
Review by Sarah Rosenkrantz